Mrs. Linda Watts, age 84, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away on July 12, 2022.
Linda was born in Glen Ridge, NJ to David and Jessie Jackman on October 14, 1937.
She was preceded in death by her parents, David and Jessie Jackman and her brother -in-law, Erwin H. Leiphart III
Linda is survived by her husband of 63 years, Capt. Robert B. Watts, USN (Ret), her children, Robert B. Watts, Jr. (Sue) of Deep River, CT, Jennifer W. Ackermans of Antwerp, Belgium, and James G. Watts, Dedham, MA, and her sister, Leslie J. Leiphart of St. Simons Island, GA. Linda will also be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Robert B. Watts, III (Makayla) of Chester, CT, Katharine E. Watts of Deep River, CT, Mégane Ackermans and Elise Ackermans of Antwerp, Belgium, her great granddaughter, Hadley Grace Watts of Chester, CT and Nephews David Leiphart (Mary Beth), Hingham, MA and Christopher Leiphart (Angela), Brunswick, GA.
Linda and her husband Bob were born two years, and four houses apart, in Nutley, NJ, where their parents had been friends for some years. Though only two years apart in the local school system, they never dated, but remained distantly acquainted through their families’ long-standing friendship. That all changed when, on Christmas leave from naval flight training, Bob joined his parents at the Jackman’s seasonal Open House, and there the relationship blossomed. However, Linda was in her junior year of college and Bob was in FL and TX for flight training, and subsequently on sea duty, flying in carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft squadrons. Thus, during the next two years, and due to the distances involved, dating was only an occasional even possible. Six months later, while visiting Bob in Florida on Spring Break, he popped the question and Linda said, “but you hardly know me.” Bob understood, agreed, and said, “OK, I’ll ask you tomorrow” which he did, and Linda said yes. Linda married Robert Watts of Nutley, NJ on June 27, 1959, in St. Mary’s Church, Nutley, NJ
For the next 30 years Linda was a dedicated “Navy Wife,” often left to raise the three children by herself, as many Navy wives do. Always active in the wives’ clubs of squadrons and staffs to which Bob was assigned, her natural gregarious and conversational instincts always enabled her to be a graceful and gracious hostess, coupled with her natural concern for the well-being and welfare of others. Her skills as wife, mother and friend to others served her well during her husband’s 12 different duty assignments, mostly on the East Coast, but featured a five-and-one-half year residence in Belgium, while her husband was assigned to the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe – and that tour led to having a dual citizenship daughter and two Belgium-born granddaughters.
A graveside funeral service for Mrs. Linda Watts will be held on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Churchyard, 324 East Main Rd., Portsmouth. In addition to family members, neighbors and friends are equally welcome to join in the celebration of the life of a marvelous wife, mother, and friend. A reception is being planned to follow the service.